A warm and comfortable pair of baselayer pants that work particularly well below freezing temps, but they do have sizing limitations.
- Warm – great for cold temps
- Merino wool (the good stuff!)
- Size limitations for some due to lack of long option
Fit and Comfort:
At 6’2” and 190 lbs. (1.88m and 86.2 kg), I typically wear pants with a 31” or 32” waist and a 34” inseam. I tested a men’s medium size, due to its accurate waist size, realizing that the length might be slightly shorter than desired, according to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. In fact, I’d have to jump up two sizes to a men’s XL in order to get a 34” inseam, but then I’d be stuck with 38-40” waist. While the pants are fantastically soft and very comfortable, the issues with fit could be easily corrected by providing a “long” option. This would allow for a nice tight fit around the waist and a full-length inseam fit.
Shorter than desired inseam, but very comfortable and warm.
Warmth and Breathability:
During a cold and snowy winter, these baselayer bottoms have done an exceptional job at keeping me warm and dry. While hiking and hunting, I’ve worn these bottoms as a baselayer in temps ranging from -5F to 45F (-20C to 7C). As a sleeping layer, I’ve worn these in a 20F sleeping bag with airs temps around 40F and was quite comfortable.
They are best suited for colder temps, or for those whose body tends to be cold. I, however, tend to run pretty warm, and begin to overheat if I wore these bottoms in temps above freezing. Fortunately, for me, I had many of days to test during sub-freezing temperatures. Even during those times when it was probably too warm to be wearing them and I began to overheat, they still remained relatively comfortable.
Shown here with the Inversion Heavyweight Crew top, also by Ridge Merino.
Layering and Weight:
When I think of a baselayer with the word “heavyweight” in its name, I imagine a bulky, restrictive layer, but that is certainly not the case with these, as the pants are thin (yet warm) and add very little bulk to layering. I’ve worn these under a variety of pants and shorts, including light hiking pants, jeans, and most commonly while hunting, the Ultimate Field Pant, and they go almost unnoticed when layering. Total weight is 8.1oz (229.6g).
In the three months I’ve worn these bottoms, I’ve washed them 5 or 6 times, always according to the manufacturer’s recommendation (i.e. machine wash warm, line dry), and have experienced no issues. As with other merino wool products I own, these take some extra time to line dry (especially in a chilly basement, where I line dry in the winter), but that is an acceptable trade off to me in order to extend the life of a quality product.
Fairly straightforward, low-bulk waist band.
After three months of regular use, the Inversion Heavyweight Bottoms shows no signs of wear, aside from the label peeling off (no impact to use).
While I appreciate the no-tag label (I hate tags, especially on pants), the printed-on label has peeled off rather quickly.
I tested the Ridge Merino Inversion Heavyweight Bottoms for three months (Nov. 2017-Jan. 2018) in central and northern Pennsylvania, including during a record snowfall month of December for the area. The baselayer bottoms were tested during numerous activities including hiking, hunting, sleeping, and casual indoor and outdoor wear. In addition to the bottoms, I simultaneously tested the Ridge Merino Inversion Heavyweight Crew top, which pair very well together.
These are great merino wool base layer bottoms that can work for a variety of cold-weather activities (i.e. below freezing), thanks to the high-quality fabric and straightforward construction. A "long" version of the bottoms that had a longer inseam would make them better for tall/thin users, such as myself.
Acknowledgment: Many thanks to both Trailspace and Ridge Merino for the opportunity to test these bottoms.